Most people spend most of their lives waiting for three small words.

I, being the high maintenance femme fatale that I am.  Have spent the last eight months. Waiting.  For five.


But the thing about all this waiting is that what usually happens.  Is that you wait until you can’t wait anymore.

And then just when you throw up your hands, scream a few obscenities out your twelfth story apartment window, and pile up all of your running gear hope into a large box and shove it under your bed without looking back any more than twenty times.

Miracles happen.


I was lying in bed on Friday, midday.  Dawdling my life away.  When my cell phone rang.

The first three digits revealed that it was the Hospital for Special Surgery.  Sigh.  Great.  More insurance woes.  (Isn’t being injured fun?  I might just be the only person with not one, but two insurance companies who I’m supposedly paying to cover me, but who up and down refuse to acknowledge that (a) I actually exist and (b) I am actually their client.  Although, I hate to tell them.  I have the insurance cards to prove it.)

“Hello,” I said.  In as exasperated a tone as I could muster.

“Hi.  May I please speak to Joanne?”


“This is Dr. Ranawat’s assistant.  He just wanted me to call and tell you that your stress fractures are healed.”

What sort of a bullshit prank call was this?  Healed?  Pssshhh.  Doubtful.  I hung up on her.  And immediately started typing out an email to my brother explaining why tugging on someone’s heartstrings was not an acceptable activity for a Friday afternoon.

Phone rings again.  Same number.  God, these people are relentless! 

“Hello,” I said.  More irate than ever.

“Hi, sorry we must have gotten disconnected.  Your stress fractures are healed.”

“Look, miss.  I don’t know who put you up to this but it’s been very funny.  Hysterical actually.  I’m going to go on with my life now.”

“No, Joanne.  You must not understand.  The MRI that you had on Wednesday?  Dr. Ranawat read it and wanted to tell you that the fractures are healed and that he’ll talk to you about it more at your appointment on the 26th.”

Wait.  I never told my brother that I had an appointment on the 26th.  How did she…

Holy crap.  My stress fractures are healed.  MY STRESS FRACTURES ARE HEALED.  MY STRESS FRACTURES ARE HEALED!


I spent this weekend celebrating.  There may or may not have been a mango-infused pina colada involved.  I may or may not have eaten my weight in chocolate ganache and buttercream frosting.

And now I may or may not have to start whipping my butt back into shape.  Because let’s be real.  Remember the freshman fifteen?  From college.

Food blogger fifteen.  Right here.

And now that I have something to work towards.  Like, say.  Running an 8 minute mile again.  I think it’s time I get rid of it.

Who’s with me?

And really, with fabulous healthy food like this heirloom tomato salad.  It won’t be so hard.  Although I will say that you have to actually use heirloom tomatoes for this, at least if you want to get the full delicious effect.  I used to be of the opinion that all tomatoes were created equal.  I was wrong.  Heirlooms tomatoes have such complex, intriguing flavors.  That they put regular old vine-ripened Camparis.  To shame.  And take what would be an otherwise ordinary tomato salad with feta and dill.  And make it something that you will actually start to crave.  Even if you are a self-professed salad hater.  Like some high maintenance femme fatales that I happen to know.

Remember to send me your entries for Regional Recipes: PUERTO RICO!


Heirloom Tomato Salad with Red Onions, Dill and Feta
Serves 4, adapted from Symon’s Live To Cook

1-2 lb heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks (Symon calls for 1 lb.  But I dare you to have the self control to only buy one pound of heirloom tomatoes when they are just sitting there.  So darn purty-like.)
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin and soaked in ice water for 10 minutes
1 cucumber, thinly sliced (Symon only calls for 1/3 cucumber.  Who does that?)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup kalamata olives, whole and pitted
1 cup feta crumbles
1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (Symon calls for 1/2 cup.  Uh.  Yeah.  No.)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut and prep all of the ingredients.  Drain the onion and pat dry.

2. Whisk together the garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Add in the cucumber, red pepper, red onion, olives, dill, and mint.  Let marinate for 15-20 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomatoes and feta.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is my submission to Symon Sundays, hosted over at A Year in the Kitchen and Souper Sundays hosted over at Kahakai Kitchen.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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100 Responses to Michael Symon’s Heirloom Tomato Salad with Red Onions, Dill and Feta

  1. Jen says:

    hey, I am comment #1 🙂 I love this salad, this is probably everything I love in a salad!
    We will see you running again in no time!

  2. Hi Joanne! Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. It was so great meeting you at Blogher!
    Congrats on your stress fracture being healed. I’m very happy for you! Love your recipes, I’m going to follow your blog so I remember to look here for ideas when I’m cooking 🙂

  3. So glad to hear you will be up and running soon!! I’m sure Michael would be thrilled to hear and to see this amazing salad you created of his. It is so pretty!!

  4. girlichef says:

    Hooray!!! This salad is gorgeous…heirlooms are the prettiest things in the world =)

  5. Nelly says:

    That’s wonderful news! Keep us all updated on your running progress – I’m working my way back down the minutes-per-mile ladder myself. And that salad? Totally has me drooling onto my keyboard over here. Seriously, wow.

  6. newlywed says:

    That’s great news…and a great looking salad to celebrate. I love heirloom tomatoes…they get away with being so adorably ugly!

  7. Debbie says:

    Glad to hear yhour stress fracture are healed. Hooray!!! The salad look so delicious. Wish I could have that for lunch today!

  8. The heirlooms are beautiful and I love the Greek flavors in your salad!

  9. Satya says:

    wow the salad looks gorgeous ….i always love salads like this as they r healthy,yummy n filling too …thank you for sharing


  10. Kim says:

    Congrats to you! You’re all healed. You are really on the ball with this tomato salad. This salad definitely makes eating healthy an easy thing. The heirlooms are gorgeous.

  11. Lea Ann says:

    Beautiful photos Joanne and this salad looks wonderful. I’m going to have to pay more attention to this Michael Symon guy. Good news about the fracture!

  12. Joanne, congrAtulations! That is indeed wonderful news worthy of celebration. Love your blog- such a fusion of extraordinary colours! I feel healthy already just looking at your salad!

  13. Dawn says:

    Oh yum, perfect for summer. I love the fresh herbs with the simple vinaigrette and heirloom tomatoes. So far I haven’t seen many but next time I do I’ll grab them to try this out!

  14. Your tomatoes look amazing – and yes, with food like this I’m sure you’ll whip your butt into shape in no time! So exciting… I’m so happy you can now go do what you love to do!

  15. Giovanna says:

    Awesome! I’m so happy for you : ) I love heirloom tomatoes, I am trying to grow more heirlooms during the fall here !

  16. Kalyn says:

    Gorgeous salad, and great news about the stress fractures! Happy training.

  17. Biren says:

    So glad that hear that your fracture is healed. The heirlooms are lovely!

  18. Michael, the love of your life, would be happy to hear that you are on the road to recovery too Joanne…wink….and what better way to celebrate, besides libation, that with an heirloom salad.

  19. Ameena says:

    I am amazed at so many things in this post –

    1. Congrats on your fractures healing, that is fabulous news.

    2. Your doctor’s office calls you with news.

    3. They call you back when you hang up on them.

    Seriously though, I’m thrilled for you Joanne!! And the heirloom salad looks like a fantastic way to celebrate.

  20. Swathi says:

    Congrats on your fractures healing, hair loom tomato salad looks awesome.

  21. elra says:

    Wow, superb salad Joanne! I just harvested my heirloom tomatoes and still have more. I like this salad. Thanks for sharing the recipe, will make this for super tonight.

  22. janet says:

    That is wonderful news, Joanne!

    Food blogger 15, hahaha! It is so true! 😀

  23. Radhika says:

    I got a similar call from my doctor’s office and the assistant said I have a problem that they found from my test results. But ironically that Doctor already gave me medicines for the same issue and I was feeling better by that time. And guess what that was the last time I visited that office and I swore I will never every see her again. Hope you are able to run 8 miles again. Savor more healthy and pretty salads like this often.

  24. This looks fabulous. So far this summer I have kept the deer out of my garden. I fenced in my tomatoes. I have Green Zebra, Tigerella, Black Krim, Purple Cherokee, and Arkansas Traveler that are almost ready to pick.

    As a runner who has been injured (bad ankle sprain with some torn ligaments), I know how hard it is to take time off to heal. But I also know how incredible (like “tears in your eyes” incredible) that first “post-injury” run is. Congratulations!

  25. Mary says:

    That really is great news. Just don’t go overboard with running these next few days – ease back into it. Your salad looks delicious as well. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  26. Katerina says:

    I am so happy for you! May all this left behind you for good! This salad is exactly what I need these days. The temperature is high and doesn’t show any signs of decline.

  27. Julie says:

    gahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! congratufriggnlations!!!!! that’s SO SO SO exciting 🙂 🙂 can’t wait for you to start your running thang again girL!

  28. Amy says:

    Can I get a what what! Wooo hoooo!!!! Bad ass news on the stress fractures. 8 minute mile, here you come. (My sister is training for a half marathon in October and she just completed her trials with 8 minute miles – she will be thrilled to know she’s in your league.)

    And the Food Blogger Fifteen? Oh ya. I’m right there with you. Mine is more like the Food Blogger 20, though. I like even numbers.

  29. CONGRATS! That’s very exciting!

    And I know exactly what you mean about the Food Blogger 15… I’m starting to freak out a little bit. Need to get my butt to the gym ASAP.

    This salad looks wonderful, by the way. Simple, light, tons of flavor.

  30. polwig says:

    Totally with you… need to get my Food blogging 15 off too. Last years marathon was my first and my 2 year old twins kept me up all night. It is about time I start running again and beat my last time. Maybe in a year or so we can do NY or Boston together? I will probably eat dust behind you.

  31. Elizabeth says:

    The annoying thing about stress fractures is that they’re so darn stressful. I’m glad they’re history, Joanne! Your salad reminds me of vacations in Greece . . . I’m making your recipe tonight. I totally agree about the cuke issue . . . 1/3 just doesn’t cut it . . . go big or go home!

  32. Dgrub says:

    Adding dill is unique! However I can see it going well in heirloom tomato salad with classic ingredient like feta. Our version of simple heirloom tomato salad is at http://desigrub.com/2010/08/heirloom-tomato-salad/ . We would love to hear any comments on the post.

  33. spamwise says:

    Heirloom toms are really one of the best things at this time of year. Carpe diem! The season will be over soon in 2 months.

  34. Clair says:

    It was great to meet you at BlogHer. So glad your stress fractures are healed. Happy running!

  35. Ben says:

    OMG That’s one amazing looking salad!

  36. Mo Diva says:

    congratulations on the healing of your stress factors!
    thats awesome!
    and your salad looks great. I should really start running again. im just really really lazy. 🙂

  37. Yay congratulations on your recovery! Eating chocolate and drinking pina coladas sounds like an awesome way to celebrate! And this salad looks amazing, too!

  38. Congratulations! Roger Bannister look out!
    Love the groovy tomatoes and your salad. I did the whole cuke too, but I should have done the half olive oil. Way too much liquid for the salad and I hate pouring it down the drain.
    I’m starting the shasha sauce today, maybe a ½ batch.

  39. Monet says:

    Congratulations on your recovery…it is obvious you have so many people cheering for you! And what a way to celebrate…there is nothing better than heirloom tomatoes!

  40. Ty'sMommy says:

    Oh, absolutely gorgeous! I just got the first few decent heirlooms off my Brandywine plants, and, ironically, I have dill and feta in the fridge. guess I know what I’m having for supper tonight!

  41. sra says:

    That’s good news! Run away!

    I love feta in salads, so much so I feel we don’t even need dressing.

  42. MaryMoh says:

    Great to know you have recovered and can proceed with your running…yeah! Enjoy your run….have fun! Love your salad….very refreshing 😀

  43. tigerfish says:

    Good that you are healed while your “affair” with Michael Symons continues…:P

  44. Pierce says:

    I really admire you for your stamina for running. You are an inspiration!
    Salad looks lots better than the one I had this weekend at a local restaurant. Great!

  45. Julie says:

    I’m glad you’re healed! I’ll have some of that salad to help you celebrate.

  46. Yay!! Congrats 🙂 I’m totally gaining food blogger weight too- it’s horrible! But this salad may be just the thing to help remedy it… Until I eat the entire bowl!


  47. Juliana says:

    Joanne, what a beautiful salad…so summery! Love the pictures 🙂

  48. Kristen says:

    YIPEE for you! I am so glad you are going to be able to get back on the trails, tracks, roads, or wherever it is that you run. You are an inspiration to the rest of us lugging around that nasty blogger fifteen. Love the salad. It’s gorgeous.

  49. Faith says:

    That is amazing — congrats!!! You must be so thrilled! The salad looks like a phenomenal way to celebrate. 🙂

  50. Cristie says:

    This is one beautiful salad. I can’t beleive how incredible your heirloom tomatoes look, to die for. Happy you’ve returned to life the way you want to live it, it must feel grand.

  51. Rachana says:

    This Salad has my name written all over it. I love it.

    Congrats on your recovery!

  52. RamblingTart says:

    OUTRAGEOUSLY happy for you, Joanne!! YIPPEE!! WOOHOO!! 🙂

  53. teresa says:

    yay! you’re healed! i’ve never broken a bone, but i do know the feeling of being cured of an ailment, and it’s the BEST EVER! running is going to feel so good.

    this salad looks wonderful, i’ve never tasted an heirloom tomato, i think it’s time i do!

  54. hbaker1130 says:

    Yay!! You can run again! .. I’ve been making salads very similar to this alot lately with either blue cheese or with some red pepper flake and basil.. yumm yummmm

  55. Congrats on your good news! And thanks for sharing this recipe. Your photos are absolutely stunning!

  56. sweetlife says:

    Congrats wonderful news….i’m super happy for you, i’m wit ya on the blogger 15, oh hell i might be at 20….great salad

  57. Joanne, I am so happy for you. I know how much you enjoy running and being in shape. Enjoy getting back to your normal routine.

    As you run to Puerto Rico, please stop here, http://sweetsav.blogspot.com/2010/08/smashed-spiced-sweet-potaotes-eating.html and link this victory recipe. Thanks.

  58. Hooray for healed stress fractures!!!!! Boo for entering into the fit club. Now I’ll feel even MORE guilty when we indulge at Milk Bar knowing that you burned a bajillion calories that morning while I ate bonbons.

    Yum salad though. This heat definitely calls for stoveless meals!

  59. You need to come pick all the tomatoes from my garden and make me some salad stat!

    Great news about the stress fracture.

  60. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY healed! now we can be running buddies!!! WOOO HOOOOO!!!!

    anyways, i hope you get to meet j.c. and i hope this relationship is long lasting. hopefully. he’s amazing and i really really like him

    now, the dude on the other hand. he can go f off. seriously. i CALLED j.c. in the car and he still kept trying. WTF.

  61. Beautiful tomatoes, beautiful salad! So glad your stress fractures are healed! 🙂

  62. Muneeba says:

    oh yayyyyyyyyyyyy … u’ve been healed .. it’s the miracle of food blogging, I tell ya! You could start a new religion 😉

  63. Pam says:

    Yeah for you!!! I totally get the food blogger fifteen (sixteen for me, but who’s counting?). Now if only I could enjoy running like you… UGH. I would, however, enjoy eating this beautiful salad. Great photos.

  64. sophia says:

    YES!!! JOANNE! Come on, jump up right now and do some jumping jacks with me! Are you doing it? DO IT!!!

    EE! I’m so happy and thrilled for you..right in time for your Disney Marathon, too!

  65. Yippee for you! Great photos, Joann. I’d definitely eat a LOT of this salad, with absolutely no guilt. Um, the only thing I’d shove aside would be kalamata olives. I’m weird, but I can’t handle the saltiness of them. You can have all of mine. Back to running for you!

  66. This salad looks gorgeous and now I know how my tomatoes balcony crop (about 8…) will end up!!
    Great news to hear that you are ready to run again 🙂
    and OMG, I have so many recipes to catch up…

  67. Very beautiful and healthy salad…

  68. Each summer, I eagerly await the appearance of local tomatoes. They arrived, in abundance, a few weeks ago. We are eating them in every way possible!! Your recipe will be delicious way #47. Thanks!!

    I’m happy to hear that your stress fracture is healed and that you truly know how to celebrate that occurrence!


  69. Hoorah huzzah!!! What a beautiful way to celebrate mending. Lovely photos!

  70. Gotta admit I hate dill…but congrats on your healed fractures! And for managing to deal with all those insurance companies!

  71. Kelsey says:

    this would be great with any meal really! tomatoes are fabulous!!

  72. I don’t think I have ever seen a better and prettier heirloom tomato salad than yours! Perfect combination of flavours!

  73. Nadji says:

    Tu as raison, nous avons publié presque la même salade. Nous avons peut-être fonctionné un peu par télépathie.
    Ta salade est magnifique.
    See soon.

  74. Sippity Sup says:

    Now this is the kind of lunch I am talkin’ about! Of course I’ll take mine with out the stress fractures, please. GREG

  75. Andreas says:

    That’s good news.
    And a nice salad to celebrate. But I wouldn’t say no to a pina colada either. 😉

  76. Raina says:

    Yeah! I am so happy for you…you can run again! I started running for the first time last month. I was pretty pathetic at first, gasping for air, etc. I am getting better and loving it too. I can see why you missed it so.

    Your salad looks so delicious. I love salads like this. Great pics too:)

  77. Yaeeeey that is SO awesome about your stress fractures!!! 🙂 Love the heirloom tomato salad too and that green/yellow/red tomato is gorgeous.

  78. Congratulations, Joanne! I hope you went out to celebrate the good news (or at least ran cheering through the streets).

    Those are some gorgeous tomatoes and what a beautiful way to use them!

  79. First, I am so sorry about being tardy to get to your blog to comment, work gets in my way, then soccer season begins and games are in tow and late, so I stay late at work to get caught up on my commenting.

    I am SOOOOOOOOOOO glad you’re healed and getting back to your other love, running!

    I don’t eat raw tomatoes…very wierd, I know, but my husband raves about heirlooms. Your salad looks so beautiful, I wish I ate tomatoes!

  80. grace says:

    and boy, you and michael really are tight, aren’t ya? beautiful replica of his salad. 🙂

  81. Shannon says:

    HOORRRAAAYYYYYYYYY! 🙂 i’m off for a short run to celebrate… i’ve missed some yumminess around here, glad to be back!

    ps- shoot me ur address when you get a chance 😉

  82. Bridgett says:

    Beautiful! To me, heirloom tomatoes look like the freaky old aunt but I always love how they end up looking in a dish such as this. A perfectly healthy recipe.

  83. Suman Singh says:

    Congrats on your recovery..good to know that..

    That salad looks so refreshing and delicious..lovely pics.

  84. Victoria K. says:

    With the exception of the dill (my least favorite herb) this salad looks amazing! Super fresh, and delicious!

  85. Claudia says:

    I love everything in this – everything! Will do this in celebration of you and your future eight minute mile!

  86. Congrats on being healed!! Yeah! Yes, heirloom tomatoes are something special. The vibrant colors and the flavor is above and beyond the typical hot house tomato. Great photos!! xo

  87. Jessie says:

    Yay for your HEALED stress fractures!! I think you celebrated just right. I think chocolate ganache and heirloom tomato salad strike a nice balance, don’t you? 🙂 I recently discovered heirloom tomatoes and I LURVE them! Luckily my father-in-law grows bushels of them, so I’m never in short supply. I’ll be trying this recipe, for sure!

  88. Julie says:

    Congratulations on your healed fractures! This recipe looks delicious. I love Michael Symon!

  89. I just returned from Columbus, OH where heirloom tomatoes are gracing the menus of most local restos. Yours is beautiful enough to be one of them.

  90. Congrats on being able to run again! This salad and that mango pina colada both sound amazing. We should definitely get together next time I visit NYC. Such a FUN place, though I can’t imagine how people avoid spending all their money within their first month there. So many fabulous things to eat, do, buy XD.

  91. Kerstin says:

    YAY, how exciting!!! I know it must have been really tough not being able to run because I get cranky after a couple days off and I’m not nearly as much a runner as you! This lovely summer salad looks like the perfect way to celebrate – the tomatoes are gorgeous!

  92. Carolyn Jung says:

    Food blogger 15! Love it. Uh, the name that is, not the effects on my hips. 😉

  93. Reeni says:

    Yes! That is the best news! Chocolate and heirloom salad is the most delicious way to celebrate.

  94. Lori says:

    Hooray!! I’m so excited for you. That is such great news. Best wishes for getting back into the running groove and accomplishing those goals! The shot of this salad in the bowl is amazing. I love all the colors and ingredients. Delicious!

  95. Debinhawaii says:

    Congrats on your healing! 😉 Best wishes on getting back to your great love. 😉 The salad looks great–love the combination of ingredients/flavors in it. Heirloom tomatoes are so delicious.

  96. Dana says:

    Great news Joanne! I personally would have used the excuse of stress fractures to never run again, but you are a better exerciser than I. I am so jealous of the tomatoes you people back East get. Our heirlooms are hit and miss.

  97. Eliana says:

    Blogger 15…are you serious? You can’t go from qualifying for Boston in SAN FRAN to having any issues running. Great now there’s another person faster than me out there.

    Have fun out there babe 🙂

  98. First, the salad looks amazing (because food always comes first)
    and second…yay to the healing! so great to get good news from the dr.

  99. Chris says:

    And in a sad ironic twist, after celebrating with one more mango-infused pina colada than required, Joanne tripped and fractured her tibia, fibula, and the santa maria.

    Seriously, congrats girl. Now get your butt into training! 😉

  100. I am waiting for a prank call like that! 6 months and counting since I broke a bone in my left leg and now healing form the soft tissue damage. Think I pulled everything to the max; everything!

    So I really know your joy and I really love this salad. Heirloom tomatoes in Colorado? Heck, I would settle for one huge Better Boy; not the best locale for tomatoes; that being a Mile High stuff!

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